I finished off a scene and started another, about halfway through it.
I wonder if I should try to catch up today, or if I should spend time lost in my books and DVDs about Inuit culture, and this really rolling mystery White Heat, all of which is sparking my world-building.
For instance, one of my big questions is what would it take to create Tunngavik University near Iqaluit? Leaving your community and family is typically a big deal for an Inuk, because social ties are so strong. Not only would a center of higher education situated in the Baffin area make sense, the first staff could be partly formed from Inuit who had gone to southern universities. Gradually, over many years, the University would grow and advancements would be made in the fields that many Inuit would be interested in—natural sciences, for instance, though I think medical science would not be far behind.
Perhaps technology becomes advanced enough that the knowledge of the Elders would be preserved digitally a la Star Trek’s holodeck, and there would be enhancements to computer and internet technology so that video conferencing is a common use between families spread out across the Northern Territories. Something will have been done so that the environment is saved and the old ways can live alongside the new.
One of my other big questions is that of Kinaktak’s family. I’ve never had experience with an extended family, or even a good family, so this is going to be difficult for me. Kinaktak has family that’s the usual amount of trouble, rather than the intensely dysfunctional life-threatening history I went through with my limited family.
On a more intimate level, what are Kinaktak’s names? In the future, Project Surname is a distant past thing, and most people have gone back to the traditional naming ways—which are unique names, no surnames. Often multiple names; what is Kinaktak’s series of nicknames bestowed upon her by brother, sister, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas? And since sauniq has always been in use, who was she named for?
How many generations out from today are we talking? I’m thinking five to ten, so roughly 100 to 200 years. There’s obviously a big difference between the two endpoints.
Anyways, I’m thinking about a lot of things, to the point where I’m having trouble keeping on right now. Perhaps I should have figured out research units for the Write-a-thon.
One thought on “Clarion Write-a-thon 2012: Day 7”
Glad to see you are still plugging away – keep it up.
Don’t forget to liberally use some kind of indicator (I use square brackets) to hold a place for something you will figure out later, especially if it isn’t key to the plot. Otherwise, the need to stop and do research overwhelms me. I actually use a little program called Freedom which blocks out the internet for however many minutes I set it at a time (it’s a Mac program, but I’m sure there are similar programs for the PC).
Many a time I’ve been roaring along in writing mode, when up comes a question, I head for the internet (sadly lacking in self-discipline, I am), and all I have to show for precious writing time is a tiny nugget of still-unpolished research – and the feeling that it definitely could have and should have waited.
I think it is because the research is basically easy, and the writing, even when it’s going well, is hard. Birthing new things is hard.
Though it sounds like you are doing fascinating research!
Of course all bets are changed when the piece of research is necessary, and really holding up progress or keeping you from making key decisions in the plot (that’s where the last week of my writing life went).
I just wish that, every time I stopped to do research, I first spent a moment deciding which of the two categories it was in, and did it deliberately.
About extended families, well, if you have questions, I am the oldest of 42 grandchildren on both sides of the family. Phew!
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